Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 9:01 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

PHILADELPHIA 9 out 10
(1993)

Now and then I watch this amazing movie. It may seem a bit dated now, but at the time this movie was made, it was courageous to talk about AIDS, homophobic reactions, and discrimination.

I think most here have seen this movie and know its story. Tom Hanks deservedly won an Oscar for his heart-felt performance.

What I think is too often ignored is the amazing journey Denzel Washington navigates through this movie. He too deserved an Oscar. He clearly states he hates gays but through Hanks and his friends, Denzel finally recognizes the humanity or humaneness in gays. The most memorable scene is where Hanks, hooked to an IV, stands and explains to Denzel the life affirming lyrics in the opera aria. Through lighting, the audience witnesses true recognition and understanding in Denzel’s face. His acting is superb. Denzel’s last act is to put his face very close to Hanks, and put Hanks’ oxygen mask back on his face, something he would have never done at the beginning of the movie.

This movie still wrings my heart.

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2020 - 3:29 AM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)

Two Miles for Sister Sara 7/10ish After playing the new cd a few times over the last few days I thought we'd give the film another go. It might not be the best but it is enjoyable and we'll made. Maybe it could have benefited from some recognisable faces in the supporting roles. Enjoyed Shirley MC's performance. And in a moment of sheer obviousnessicit yism the music is great.

Followed by Young Frankenstein (contrast) Classic. The only Mel Brooks' film that's really funny. And Marty what a loss

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2020 - 3:35 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

PHILADELPHIA 9 out 10

The most memorable scene is where Hanks, hooked to an IV, stands and explains to Denzel the life affirming lyrics in the opera aria. Through lighting, the audience witnesses true recognition and understanding in Denzel’s face. His acting is superb. Denzel’s last act is to put his face very close to Hanks, and put Hanks’ oxygen mask back on his face, something he would have never done at the beginning of the movie.

This movie still wrings my heart.


Guess what, Joan? My mother has the exact same reaction to that scene. Hanks attached to a drip on a stand maps out all the moves. Washington is "stunned" to see it. She also listens to Callas more or less as a direct result of that "expression."

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2020 - 4:35 AM   
 By:   Nedmerrill   (Member)

Two Miles for Sister Sara 7/10ish After playing the new cd a few times over the last few days I thought we'd give the film another go. It might not be the best but it is enjoyable and we'll made. Maybe it could have benefited from some recognisable faces in the supporting roles. Enjoyed Shirley MC's performance. And in a moment of sheer obviousnessicit yism the music is great.

Followed by Young Frankenstein (contrast) Classic. The only Mel Brooks' film that's really funny. And Marty what a loss


Have you not watched Mel Brooks' first movie The Producers? Imho it's one of the funniest movies ever made. In fact it's tears running down your cheeks funny! Mules by the way, not miles (damn autocorrect!).

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2020 - 5:13 AM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)



Have you not watched Mel Brooks' first movie The Producers? Imho it's one of the funniest movies ever made. In fact it's tears running down your cheeks funny! Mules by the way, not miles (damn autocorrect!).

Yes I have but not in a long while( I forgot about it when writing). Anyway they are both a different kind of funny.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2020 - 7:15 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Guess what, Joan? My mother has the exact same reaction to that scene.

Your mother has great taste. I like your mother.

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2020 - 7:49 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

The Kissing Booth 2- 3-5

A harmless if not predictable sequel to Nexflix's highly successful Romcom The Kissing Booth.
Netflix has been going full force with Woke productions and surprisingly this one isn't Woke at all.
Well, its five percent Woke because they had to toss in a scene of a crowd cheering on two men kissing.

But over all our lead Elle is a fun, charismatic character with strengths and flaws who learns to find herself. Men are not the jerks as portrayed in so many other productions nowadays. Even the messaging was refreshing where Ellie learns what she wants out of life is to be the best part of everyone around her.

A Romcom that clocks in at two hours and twelve minutes way outstays its welcome though!
No great shakes but enjoyable enough for anyone into Romcoms. (which I'm really not)

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2020 - 11:00 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

COURAGEOUS (2011) - 7/10

This faith-based drama is an ambitious effort from Sherwood Pictures, the film-making offshoot of Albany, Georgia’s Sherwood Church. The film focuses on fatherhood--on why fathers are important to a family and on what it means to be a good father. This message surrounds a police drama that follows four patrol officers on the Albany police force. One is black officer "Ken Bevel" (Nathan Hayes), an experienced officer who has recently transferred in. He's paired with rookie "David Thompson" (Ben Davies). The other pair are old hand "Adam Mitchell" (Alex Kendrick) and his partner "Shane Fuller" (Kevin Downes).

All four are fathers who are facing different challenges in their family lives. The four are soon joined by a fifth, "Javier Martinez" (Robert Amaya), a handyman engaged by Mitchell (through an unusual series of events) who becomes a friend of the group. When a tragedy strikes Mitchell's family, he comes to realize that he must do more than he's been doing to hold the family together. His research into scripture leads him to devise a contract that he will enter into with his family that will spell out his duties, responsibilities, and actions that he will take to be the best father that he can be. He eventually persuades his four friends to do the same. Then comes the hard part--living up to the contract when things get tough.

Interspersed with this family drama are several well-executed action scenes, as the officers have run-ins with a drug gang that is plaguing Albany. I was surprised as to how well these disparate elements worked together. The film obviously has a message to deliver, but it could have ended up being much more heavy-handed than it was. Lead actor Alex Kendrick directed the film, and co-wrote it with his producer-brother Stephen. The film grossed nearly $40 million at the box office, and it earned the support.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2020 - 1:50 AM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

Showbiz Kids
7.5/10
Alex Winter documentary about child actors. Not particularly deep about the horrors, though it touches on them. Interesting.

 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2020 - 1:59 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

The 51st State / Formula 51 (2001) ... 6/10

It's a film I have no reason to enjoy: hardly a likeable character (the nicest person is Dakota/Emily Mortimer ... and she is the assassin!), locations are awful (mostly Liverpool - very depressing ... after a dreadfully fake opening set on PCH), mindless violence, and dialogue which has every two words separated by ....

And yet, the Glaswegian Robert Carlyle is wonderful as the mad-crazed Liverpool F.C. fanatic with one idea: get a ticket to the game; Emily Mortimer is lovely and plays her role so well (shooting people for money is just a job); and lead Samuel L. Jackson, as the disgraced chemist looking to make a financial killing, is superb.

Plenty of good support from well-known British actors and a starring role, albeit limited screen time, by Meat Loaf.

The humour ranges from highly amusing to downright crude ... but very funny and a highlight, for me, is to see that British low-life (right-wing skinheads) portrayed as idiots ... think along the lines of the bikers who attempt to take on Clint Eastwood's Philo only to be out-witted by Clyde.

The music score is best ignored and struggles to make itself heard above the constant stream of profanity.
Mitch

 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2020 - 5:51 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise 3-5

Don't feel like writing a whole synopsis so here's a few lines from Wiki.

"The film's story takes place on an alternate world where a disengaged young man, Shirotsugh, inspired by an idealistic woman named Riquinni, volunteers to become the first astronaut, a decision that draws them into both public and personal conflict. "

Now my review:

The film is visually interesting. The artists created a fantastical world that looks alien yet familiar to earth. Its a film that follows a path similar to the American Gemini program, but delves into politics, religion, social upheaval and war.

The film appears more complex than it really is. The protagonist is sort of a loser who really doesn't have much motivation. His relationship with a lady and her young autistic sister doesn't really amount to much. I appreciate its attempt at being super serious but it needed more depth.

Unlike most anime this is a slow burner with very little action. The best animation comes in the last 10 minutes of the film. I found the avant-garde musical score intrusive and obnoxious. (yet I somehow own the soundtrack on CD!)

This was Gainax first animated film and while critically acclaimed in parts of the world the film was a box office dud in Japan. It almost sank the company just when it was starting up. Gainax rebounded in the OVA and television market and was a leader of popular and classic anime since the 90's including Gunbuster, Nadia: Secret of Blue Water and Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Trivia: The animators modeled their protagonist after actor Treat Williams.


The film isnt nearly as exciting as the trailer makes it out to be.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2020 - 11:56 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

GHOST OF HIDDEN VALLEY (1946) - 5/10

People keep disappearing at the abandoned "Hidden Valley Ranch," the prominent sign for which brought a fleeting smile to my face. The reason for this (the disappearances, not my smile) is that rustlers are hiding their stolen cattle there. So, when any stranger wanders by, he's sure to be scared off or bumped off. The townsfolk have long steered clear of the place, because of a rumored "ghost" that is causing the disappearances.

But along comes English dandy "Henry Trenton" (John Meredith), who was willed the property by his late father, a friend of "Billy Carson" (Buster Crabbe). When the bad guys make some attempts on the life of Trenton and his butler "Tweedle" (Jimmy Aubrey), Carson and his sidekick "Fuzzy Jones" (Al St. John) step in to help.

This one is routine all the way, and the "ghost" aspect of the film is in play for about one minute, and is then forgotten (unlike what the poster suggests). The only tension in the film comes from the fact that the woman that Trenton takes a fancy to, "Kaye" (Jean Carlin), is the niece of the guy running the rustling operation (Charles King). But even she quickly comes to see that he's behind the criminal activities.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 2, 2020 - 3:13 PM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

Howard Hawks' Air Force 1943, an excellent war movie (recorded in HD from TCM). War films made during the war are interesting for their propaganda element, & their less than politically correct language about the enemy "one fried Jap going down" says a gunner who's just shot down a Japanese Zero with a pilot who can't eject from the flaming cockpit.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 2, 2020 - 7:56 PM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

Woodstock
9/10

2019 documentary. Very interesting and I'd known nothing about it previously.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 2, 2020 - 9:12 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

THE COMIC (1969) - 7/10

In April 1968, actor-filmmaker Carl Reiner and his writing partner, Aaron Ruben, completed the first draft of a screenplay for actor Dick Van Dyke. The working title was “Billy Bright, Silent Film Comedian, Dead at 78.” While starring in “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, Van Dyke had called up Stan Laurel to ask for permission to do a Laurel & Hardy bit in an episode. Laurel told him that neither he nor Hardy's heirs owned the rights to the characters. Van Dyke and Carl Reiner were horrified that Laurel didn't even own the rights to his own image, and this picture, about the ups and downs of a silent film comedian, is the result. Reiner said that he intended this as a vehicle for Dick Van Dyke who had, on the set of their TV show, often expressed the wish that he had been working at the same time as comedy legends such as his hero Stan Laurel.

Van Dyke was hoping to cast his former television co-star, Mary Tyler Moore, as his leading lady, but she had a previous obligation to appear in the Elvis Presley film A CHANGE OF HABIT (1969). Michele Lee was ultimately selected for the role of the comic’s wife, “Mary Gibson.” Lee postponed a singing engagement at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angele, to make the picture. It would be 35 years before Lee would appear in another feature film. Both Lee and Van Dyke would seem to age forty-eight years during the course of the picture. Several silent-film comedians were expected to appear in cameo roles, along with writer-producer-director Reiner as “a rotten agent.” The title was shortened to “Billy Bright.”

Dick Van Dyke and Michelle Lee in THE COMIC



Mickey Rooney, who co-starred in the film, wore a special prosthetic in his right eye to play “Cockeye.” The character was originally supposed to be cross-eyed, but on the first day of shooting, Rooney claimed he was physically unable to do this. Carl Reiner confirmed it by placing his finger on the tip of Rooney's nose and telling him to look at it, without result. Reiner later said about Rooney, "This man could do everything in show business - sing, dance, act - but he couldn't cross his eyes!"

In September 1968, Columbia Pictures initiated the production, with Reiner directing Dick Van Dyke in what was now titled “Baggy Pants.” Reiner and Ruben viewed hundreds of early silent comedies at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. Reiner insisted that the title character was not based on any particular silent comedian, intending the film as a “commentary” on the entertainment industry, in which careers rise and fall very quickly.

In January 1969, Reiner was in the process of editing the film. Columbia was reportedly pleased with Reiner’s work, and was in negotiations for a new production deal with the filmmaker.

In late February 1969, Michele Lee was summoned to the Columbia lot for an additional scene, three months after the completion of principal photography. The pregnant actress anticipated mostly close-up shots. Van Dyke was also called back to add voice-over narration. While vacationing in Arizona, Van Dyke recorded his voice-over at the radio station he owned in nearby Phoenix. On 29 April 1969, Daily Variety announced that the title was changed to THE COMIC.

THE COMIC opened 19 September 1969 in New York City. Four weeks later, Reiner complained to the 3 December 1969 Variety that the film was not adequately publicized. After being “rushed” into New York City and Los Angeles openings as part of a double feature with THE DESPERADOS, it was relegated to second billing within the first two weeks. By the time the picture began garnering positive reviews and “word-of-mouth,” it was virtually out of circulation. Reiner noted that critics and movie professionals were generally uninformed of the few preview screenings sponsored by the studio, and cited the Los Angeles Times review, which blamed Columbia for its inadequate promotion. Countering Reiner’s accusations, Columbia executive Richard Kahn claimed the picture was given the same consideration as any other release, adding that the filmmaker was directly involved in planning the campaign. Despite their efforts, critical and public response “proved disappointing.”

Regardless of whose fault it was, THE COMIC was near the median of 1969 releases when it came to earnings, grossing $2.1 million. Jack Elliott’s score for the film has not had a release.

The film is an interesting curio, neither as funny as I had hoped, nor as maudlin as I had feared. Van Dyke and Reiner do a good job of creating some imitation silent films, and most of the film's laughs come from the gags inserted into those re-creations. The downfall of Van Dyke's Billy Bright comes more from his numerous infidelities than the usual alcohol problems (which are also there). Except for one pivotal moment (which I won't spoil), the scenes of marital discord don't offer anything that hasn't been seen onscreen before. Since the film opens with Bright's funeral, I was curious as to where Reiner would end it. He stops short of showing the character's death, choosing instead a scene of remembrance of past glories. Anyone who likes Van Dyke should seek this one out. Although, be warned, he does not play a sympathetic character.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 2, 2020 - 10:39 PM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

Rewind
10/10

Excellent and harrowing documentary about child abuse Within a family. Very well made.

 
 Posted:   Aug 3, 2020 - 2:06 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) ... 6/10

Another DVD hits the recycle basket: this gross-out comedy, still funny despite several viewings, makes me feel old! I still recall seeing it at the cinema with a group of friends: I hadn't wanted to see it but the film we went to see (???) was sold-out so we chose this ... I know I laughed a lot.

It's probably a case of the one you see first you find the funniest because none of the other films of this ilk ever made such an impression on me.

A cast of to become well-known stars, on a small budget ... it clearly found its market and became a success within my generation ... I do wonder if today's youth find it at all funny.

As much as Elmer Bernstein is one of my favourite film composers, he wasn't allowed to shine in this, other than the majestic Faber College Theme. I've never been tempted to acquire the soundtrack.
Mitch

 
 Posted:   Aug 3, 2020 - 11:58 AM   
 By:   Nedmerrill   (Member)

The Desperate Hours (1955)

Excellent crime drama about a trio of escaped convicts taking refuge in a middle class american suburban family home, starring Humprey Bogart and Fredric March. Bogart in one of his last roles plays one of the bad guys just like he did at the start of his career and Fredric March is the father of the family who are held hostage. The acting is superb from all the players and is totally convincing, especially from March as the dad who gives an amazing restrained performance and Bogart as the bad guy is excellent in his bitterness to the end. Special mention also goes to Robert Middleton who plays one of the convicts, with his hulking presence and dim-witted intellect, he plays a character who wouldn't think twice of killing anything.

Filmed in beautiful crisp black and white Vistavision, the widescreen version I saw looked great. Expertly directed by William Wyler, the tension doesn't let up right to the last frame. A great story and an excellent script, highly reccomended.

8/10


 
 Posted:   Aug 3, 2020 - 12:15 PM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)

Well put, Nedmerrill, an excellent film and some good words . I recently- ish had Bogie dvd spree and this was one amongst the many. A great little ensemble job.

 
 Posted:   Aug 3, 2020 - 3:18 PM   
 By:   Ian J.   (Member)

Ford vs Ferrari, aka Le Mans 66

9/10

I especially liked Bale's performance. I have no idea how close it is to the real Ken Miles, but it came across well.

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2020 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved...